Lake Chad – a source of water to millions of people in West Africa – has shrunk by nine-tenths due to climate change, population growth and irrigation. Spanning seven countries, including Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon, the basin is critical to the livelihoods of nearly 30 million people. Since the 1960s the lake’s water supply has shrunk by over 90%, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. The impact of the drying lake is causing tensions in the communities around Lake Chad. Diminishing water sources are “flashpoints for violence” as communities struggle with reduced crop yields and high levels of poverty.
The UN says 10.7 million people in the Lake Chad basin need humanitarian relief to survive. There are repeated conflicts among nationals of different countries over control of the remaining water. If you haven’t already, we really encourage you to read The New Yorker Lake Chad: The World’s Most Complex Humanitarian Disaster and learn more about this lake and the impacts of fading water sources.